Why do wasp and bee stings hurt so much?

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SO­PHIE EL­LIOTT, ABERDEEN

Wasp and bee venom are quite dif­fer­ent chem­i­cally, but they both con­tain pep­tides (amino acid chains) that have evolved specif­i­cally to cause pain in other an­i­mals. The so­cial bees and wasps use this to de­fend their nests; the soli­tary ones, just to dis­cour­age preda­tors from eat­ing them. Hon­ey­bee venom con­tains a pep­tide called melit­tin that di­rectly ac­ti­vates the pain re­cep­tors in your skin.

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